The real hack.

hack | kourtney thomas fitness

As I’m continuing to write more and more, I’m entertaining more ways and places to do it. This spot has been my home base for a long time, and it has allowed me to cultivate a writing style and personality that works really well for me, and for you. So when I think about broadening outside of this space, I wonder, will it all go over as well?

My main worry about it is that in nearly every publication, large or small, specialized or generalized, the most widely read articles are something in the realm of “5 Ways to Crush Your Workout!” or “The 7 Best Strategies to Improve Your Career!” or “10 Ways to Have the Best Marriage Ever!” or worse, “The Top 3 Hacks to Become a Badass at Life and Achieve Your Dreams!”

Hacks, my ass.

I get it. I understand the publishing world is a wreck. Everyone is fighting for some market share, the dollars are scarce, readership is down, we need clickbait and catchy headlines. Combine that with the fact that consumers are generally craving something quick and easy to implement, and here we are. I guess I’m in the minority here, but I just can’t get myself to do it.

First of all, I can’t get myself to click on anything that remotely involves a title like that. To imply that anything as complex as health, career, relationships, or life can be broken down into X number of simple steps or tricks or strategies is insulting. I’m already annoyed. I understand that the title of a piece doesn’t always match the content, and sometimes, the content is fantastic and I’m missing out by not clicking. But deep down, I feel like I’d be perpetuating this hack culture by adding just one more click or view to this stuff.

When it comes to the writing side, I really struggle. It has been suggested to me, a lot and frequently, that I should be pitching some much larger publications. Like, the kind that millions of people read and may or may not have Michelle Obama on the cover periodically. That’s intimidating to even think about, let alone consider the mechanics of crafting a pitch and appropriate story ideas. Everyone is looking for a hack.

It’s easy for me to then go down the rabbit hole. I search through my most read emails, the ones that get the most responses and engagement. I think to myself, this was so great! Or, alternatively, damn that was random, but people loved it. And then, I’m like, there is no way I could put any of this out in a public space in this format. Does it even make sense? I’m weird and this story is crazy…but it’s great! But I can’t turn this into a hack! There’s no catchy title!

And then I realize, it does make sense, and I don’t have to turn it into a hack. I mean, I’m kind of talking about hacks. But most of the time, I’m talking about how, um, hacks don’t really exist, and taking care of yourself intelligently and consistently is the name of the game. There’s value in that beyond “3 Hacks to Love Your Body More” – which, by the way, I do agree has value in certain moments.

I’m quite sure my writing (and coaching) style is part rebellious (I’ll do it my way, and if you don’t like it, that’s cool.), part what I actually think can help people. And in my experience, continually trolling all these quickie articles for the “answers” is not helpful in any way. Half the time, it’s stuff you’ve already read anyway. Half the time, it’s hollow. And usually, it’s confusing too.

So, here I am writing 1200 words about retainers and how they relate to long-term health. Or another 1600 words about worksheets and the challenges of being an entrepreneur. 800 about riding motorcycles. And with each story I tell, I grow, and you grow. Neither of us needs hacks to do it.

The truth is, I could easily write about women’s health, fitness, mindset, body image, lifestyle, in a way that would get picked up immediately, or in a way that would “grow my list” exponentially. It’s simple to write about “The 5 Best Exercises for Whatever.” But that would not be even a little bit within my integrity. I choose not to do it that way. I’m not here to be a fitness personality or guru, I’m here to be a guide and partner in finding your way to living a bigger life. Remember, my whole mission is to empower women to discover and live their big, genuine, and limitless lives. If I have to take the long road, I’m up for the challenge.

And that’s just the thing – so many of us are so caught up in looking for the hacks and shortcuts that we’re not realizing that totally shifting your mindset and how you are thinking about all of this is the hack itself.

It might start with powering down your devices an extra 30 minutes before bedtime and putting your workout clothes next to the bed so you can get more sleep and feel energized to get up for that early morning exercise class. But it’s not about searching for, or executing, those little fitness and wellness hacks. It’s about learning more about yourself and your body and your conditioning and your habits, learning the connection between your physical and mental and emotional behaviors and triggers. Again, it’s about shifting your mindset, so you can better show up in your body.

And when you can better show up in your body, you can better show up in your life.

Oh hey! I came up with a catchy title after all!

12 weeks of this hack, coming up starting March 26. Registration for Build Your Big Life will be available for the limited spots available if you’re on this list from March 7-11, 2018 – you’ll get one email there with a registration link. After that, everyone can snap ’em up through March 25. And no, I won’t be bothering you for the whole month about it. Remember? No funnels 😉

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